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a donut discovery

On 17, Dec 2011 | 2 Comments | In sharing, Uncategorized | By Natalie

this week i was
introduced to a new friend.

it was instant attraction.
some might call it:
love at first look.

upon the first moments 
of being together
it felt like we had known
each other all along.
like we’d never
been apart.

this friend was meant for me.
and i was, obviously meant
for this friend.

this is the friend
i had never known
i had always been waiting for.

and that is why our meeting is
serendipitously perfect.
a true fairytale
if you’ve ever heard one.

we met.
at a neighborhood favorite
called the Donut Cooperative

it took me a minute to know.
to know that is was
indeed this friend.
this friend that was meant
to be.

but after she was
on the plate.
all doubts were far far away.
like probably as
far as St. Paul.
that’s how far.

her name?
curry coconut donut.

depends on who you are,
but you might have to
trust me on this one.

she was perfect in 
every way.

the other person i was
there with
…she made other friends.
but none as special
as my new friend.

 the whole place was

full of vibrant color &
clean-straight lines.

there is one cozy corner
to saddle up to 
if your desire is to
stay the morning away.

the staff is quirky & kind
and just crazy about
their creations.

the owner Dawn was there
that morning.
baking away.
and she seemed genuinely
pleased to know
her donut brilliance
brought me 
and my new friend together.

and i will probably
never be the same again. 

so dear curry coconut donut.
until we meet again.
at the,
yours truly.

– n. 

poetry. no i mean poetry.

On 10, Nov 2011 | 3 Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

i have two friends
who first introduced me
to poetry.

and not just the rhyming
imagery, prose and verse.
i mean the kind
that when the reader
reaches the end of the poem,
the reader will never
be the same.

poetry that is
earth altering
jaw clenching
wind knocking.

poetry that exposes.
poetry that disrupts.

poetry that introduces you to
a piece of your soul
you never knew was
in you.

so i thought i would share.
these words…today.

when the changing of seasons
is in the air.

when the busy people
busy around.

when dreamers dream.

when occupiers occupy.

when the trees groan and bend
to the will of the wind.

when hopefuls beg themselves
not to give up.

but i must warn you.
only read if you are ready.
only read if you are ready…

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

this poem is by a brilliant man,
wendell berry.
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.

do you have a poem that
you love?
and loves you?

please share.

– n.

good-bye shampoo {the hair experiment}.

On 03, Nov 2011 | 4 Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

part 1: the explanation

Have we spoken today? Or in the past 9 months? Because if we have, I know I have told you about this little hair experiment. And finally, I am ready to share it in the world of blogs. First I shared it with this really awesome UK group called Global Cool. It’s just a short overview, so if you are needing more details. Please read on.

part 2: you want me to do what!?

Have you ever wondered why we scrub a bubbly substance into our head and scalp but wince, whimper, cry or even curse when that substance sneaks in, burning our eyes? It’s just how it is, right? Wrong. Something about that should seem strange.

So when a friend of mine approached me about doing a little hair experiment with her that involved saying goodbye to shampoo and conditioner…for forever!…I was greatly intrigued.

part 3: the reasons why.

Great research has been done about how most commercial shampoos contain ingredients chemicals found in anti-freeze, engine de-greasers and brake fluid. These chemicals have been proven to absorb into the brain and skin up to three times faster than water. What!? Read for yourself

Take a gander at just a few of the chemicals often found in our shampoos.

  • Coal tar — a proven cancer-causing chemical
  • ZPTO — known to offer side-effects such as headaches, naesua, or strong alergic reactions
  • Menthol — which has yet to be safety tested for it’s side-effects 

Surprisingly, baby shampoos are even worse than adult shampoos because they contain higher levels of ethylene oxide to avoid the eye irritation. But this chemical is a proven endocrine disruptor. An endocrine disruptor is a chemical that negatively affects the hormone system, specifically known to cause learning disabilities, sexual development problems and much, much more {read what the EPA has to say here}.

Not only are we pouring these chemicals onto our heads and bodies, but we are polluting the water systems in our sewage system as well. Learn more about how buying cosmetics has affected our planet: the story of cosmetics.

So the hope of shiny, thick, full, smooth and glossy locks of hair…must we throw this dream out the window?! No no no. Don’t you worry. There are other options…

part 4: so where can we turn?

In the past, I have been a purchaser of those natural, organic, very expensive, green, beautifully packaged, very expensive, enticingly bottled, shampoos and conditioners. I love them. I love how they smell. I love how soft they make my hair. I love how pretty they are. But because these shampoos are high quality and pretty fabulous products, made with {mostly} good ingredients, they are $$$ expensive!

These products cost me my paycheck, and that, I’m just not so fond of. Also I learned that not all organic shampoos are made without chemicals…which is confusing right? So, you must choose wisely.

There’s got to be another way, especially if you are buying organic shampoos and conditioners for the whole family. And I’m here to tell you, there is.

part 5: turn to your kitchen cupboard.

Now I would like to enter exhibit A in all it’s simple brilliance

{exhibit A: baking soda}
this 8 oz. box purchased for $0.50

Get this, using shampoo strips your hair of it’s naturally produced oils, so by using shampoo, your hair has to find away to adapt. You know what it does? It produces more oils. By leaving shampoo out of your hair, your hair has a chance to normalize its pH levels by producing and keeping the amount of oil it desires.

Now, this normalization of your hairs oils typically takes anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. The blog world supports this assertion, leaving people with varying levels of greasiness for what could be days or a month. Not sounding so fun anymore?

Just think about it. How long has your hair and scalp been used to this oil-striping-shampoo? It has to get used to a new-normal. Give your locks a break! 

Part 6: you just gotta get in the shower.

Start first with some baking soda, not to be confused with baking powder [which was learned from an extremely unfortunate changing of the soda and the powder, this mixup is not a happy mistake].

This little box of baking soda, I  purchased will last me well into spring 2012. Now that is a good deal.

Once you are standing in the shower, dump a little baking soda, nickel size amount into the palm of your hand. Turn off the shower stream {if you choose}, then let a few drips of water hit the baking soda, creating a little creamy paste substance. 

Flip your head over and direct the paste-like substance into the roots of your hair.  Focus on the greasiest areas of your scalp, the crown of your head, your part, etc.etc.etc.

Now, give yourself a little head massage for a minute or two. Some articles say that the massaging of the scalp stimulates hair growth {here. or here or here.}

If you are looking for creating a lather by massaging the baking soda into your hair, I better tell you right now, that you won’t find it. In fact, it feels kinda gritty. But when you choose to learn a new kind of normal…you get used to it. And you know what? I even like it now.

Enter exhibit B….
 {exhibit B: apple cider vinegar}

this 16 oz. bottle was taken home for the 

price of $2.49

Apple Cider Vinegar, compliments of Trader Joe’s. I take two tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar into a small travel size spray bottle, fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. After the baking soda, spray a bit of the vinegar/water mix on the ends of your hair, not too much! Let sit for a few moments, similar to using conditioner, then rinse out.

And there you have it!

Another tip gleaned from experienced hair experimenters, if it’s available to you, grab some coconut oil before your shower and add it to the dry ends of your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes before jumping in the shower.  Winter is not far off for many of us. The past few days, I’ve  been noticing how my hair is feeling dryer and stiffer than normal. So the coconut oil has become a once a week part of my hair routine.

{Look here for more coconut oil secrets}

Coconut oil for skin and hair can be found at your local grocer for anywhere between $7 to $10. 
part 6: after thoughts.

Now I can’t remember, did you say, have we spoken today? Because, this hair experiment…I’m obsessed. I love it.

How often do you shower? Everyday? Twice a day? Hmmm…did you know that as a culture we are greatly over-showered? We have, unfortunately made showering daily the norm.

It is too much personal information to tell you I only shower {at most} 2 times a week??

Now, now, before you go blasting me for my lack of personal hygiene, I would just like to say, let’s remember back to the days of reading Laura Engels Wilder and how the knobby-kneed-me admired her all the more when I read she only bathed once a week. Obviously she is my {weekly} inspiration.

The oils our skin and body produce are important. By showering everyday we are depleting our body and hair of their natural ways to hydrate and replenish themselves.

It is important to note, that if you want to try the baking soda hair experiment, while still showering once or even twice a day, you will not like what happens. The baking soda substance will build up into your hair and let’s just say…yuck!

My suggestion? Start off easy. Try showering/washing your hair every other day. It will take your body a few days perhaps weeks to adjust, but in the end, your skin, your hair and the earth… will thank you.

part 7: and what now?

Try it!

And of course let me know what you think.

Have you already been doing this kind of thing for years? Do you think this is the weirdest thing you’ve ever heard? Do your own research. Let me know what blogs, articles or research you find. I always love to learn more! Happy experimenting. 

Until next hair washing,
Yours truly,

– n.

remember what we’ve known.

On 02, Nov 2011 | 2 Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

with autumn
and halloween in
the air.

and leaf piles
on the corners.

candy and more
candy lining 
the convenient store aisles.

i thought it might
be time
to do something
i’ve been meaning to do
for years now.

take a walk
through Lakewood Cemetery.
this Minneapolis cemetery 
was established in 1871 
just 13 years after
Minnesota received ‘statehood’.

old right?

on first noticings,
the cemetery just keeps
going, going
and going.
the trees reach high
and the grounds are 
impeccably kept.

the stillness is encompassing
and inviting.

i was taught
when i was just a
little girl
to love cemeteries.

for the stillness
for the history

for the honoring of those
who have come before.

the names.
they are written,
but they are unknown to me.
does someone still remember?

and for the stories.
is this Mother’s story
still etched in
a child or grandchild’s memory?

am i living how i am
in part because of
Mother Ida?

dear Mother and Father Wong,
have you made my
life a little easier?

dear uncle joe.
did you let your 
nieces and nephews sit on
your lap?
did you tell them stories
of the world from the 1790s.
did you remark,
“my how the world is changing!”

just when i think the
back then,
is completely unknown to me.
it is then i find
the statue of
the mother.
cuddling her joys,
just like so many
mothers do.

and i wonder,
at how somethings 
can never & will never 

cemeteries invite me 
to take a moment.
and to just gaze at the

and let the blueness
stun me.

in my wanderings
i find this little girl.
whose life seems to
have ended 
too soon.

i wonder what
dreams filled her head
and imagination.

do you remember?
can you remember?
who you wanted to be,
when you were just that small?

this woman.
my breath away.
i even hesitate to
take any bit of her
into my camera lens.

i walk round and round her.
stand next to her.
even her stoneness possess 
a presence
that overwhelms me.

i get lost
amidst the 
and statues.

but i don’t mind.
because i am just remembering
things i never knew.

or perhaps i do know.
perhaps we all know and 
perhaps we always have.

perhaps our stories our
more than we could ever imagine.
we are because they were.
i am because you are.
those before us,
those around us,
and those to come after us.

maybe we have held all those
pieces since our
first Creation.

maybe. just maybe.

happy autumn.
may we remember
what we have always known.

– n.

to look and to see.

On 02, Nov 2011 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

it was night.
and not just any night.
a special night.
that only comes once
a year.

the night where
we pretend to be the
thing we are not.

no, i’m not talking about
everyday struggles.
i’m talking about
an organized collective
we call Halloween.

this particular
night i am with a small
her pink polyester gown
barely keeping her warm
in the night’s air.

before we head outside
a quick moment catches us
side by side.
looking into a mirror.
“you look so pretty.” i tell the princess.

she takes a step closer,
she takes a step back,
swooshing her dress.
her cheeks hold her grin.

i know.” she breathes.

jack-o-lanterns light the paths
while the kids’ bubbled excitement
swells large
as the night holds them.

the princess and i
walk hand in hand.
mine bare.
hers mitted.

“ooooh!” squeals the princess
pointing her hand into the sky.
“look! can’t you see it? the moon.
it is following me!”

“why is it following you?”
i ask.

the princess sighs
“i don’t know,
but every night.
the moon always finds me.”

i pause.
“maybe the moon
really likes you.” i say.

“yeah,” the princess puts her
mitted hand over her mouth, giggling,
“i think your right.”

she looks up at me.
pure delight written all over
her face.

that night, i call her “princess”.
and every time,
she responds,
“but that’s not my name!
your forgot!”

she laughs at my mistake.
while i can’t help longing for
this ‘knowing’
the young princess possesses
of her own self.

and we walk on,
the princess and i.
past orange lights and
smiling pumpkins.
she pauses and sees it all.

each pumpkin,
each strand of lights,
each costume,
she tells each thing of its

again we round a corner
and there it is.
bright and shiny and so mysteriously
hanging in the sky.
the moon.
it found the princess again.

the princess shrieks
with excitement to have been
found twice 
in one evening.

she takes a step closer,
she takes a step back,
as she declares,

“it is so beau-tee-ful!”

even this night.
when we put a costume
on her,
call her a different
tell her she is something
the young girl knows.

she knows who she is.
she sees herself.
she knows her imagine.

her own beauty
is no stranger to her.

who can say this little girl
is proud?
she is not.

she just simply knows.

because she so clearly sees
she has the proper chance to
experience the world around her.

and so for us.
may we look.
and may we know.
then may we all begin
to see.

alice’s wonderland.

On 20, Oct 2011 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

have you ever read,
alice in wonderland?

perhaps you saw the movie
as a child.
maybe it intrigued 
frightened fascinated
all at the same time.

it did me.

but the book…
let’s just say…
reading is so much
different that seeing

anyway this quote
found me

the conversation between
alice and the caterpillar:

“Who are you?” 
said the Caterpillar.
This was not 

an encouraging opening 

for a conversation.

Alice replied, 

rather shyly,
“I–I hardly know, Sir,
just at present–at least 
I know who I was when I got
up this morning,
but I think I must
have been changed
several times since then.”

“What do you mean by that?”
 said the Caterpillar, sternly. 
“Explain yourself!”

“I can’t explain 
I’m afraid, Sir,” 
said Alice,
“because I’m not myself, you see.”
i agree with alice.
sometimes so many changes
can make me feel 
quite confused.

but i like her journey.
she is a brave girl.

until next time,
photos found from here & here.

find your feet.

On 17, Oct 2011 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

it might not feel normal
to be discussing new year 
dreams and resolutions 
in the orangey middle of

so please if you can offer a bit
of forgiveness to this soul…
because i am….
that is, dwelling on 
some particular thoughts and hopes
i held a mere ten months

one of which was to sit on a 
{in Thailand}
with my feet dug into the sand
feeling the cold tingling 
only the insides of beaches
can offer.

to sit on this beach
all day.
to watch sunrise
and sunset.
that was my promise to myself.

the purpose?
to be still and watch the world’s

for just one day.
to appreciate the cycle.
to lay on my back
and if i was very quiet 
and still,
to see  if i could feel
the world’s turning.

maybe it’s a silly idea.
but then…
it seemed important.
a gift i would give myself.

but here ten months later
instead of standing on the 
beaches of Thailand,
i found myself instead meandering 
amongst the rocks
of the North Shore.

and while there was
no tingling and coolness of the sand,
the earth was still doing its thing.
the sun still greeting and giving.
the moon still brightening and beckoning.

i couldn’t help wondering 
about that promise i made to myself
more than 300 days past.

sometimes choices are made that
change all foreseen plans.
sometimes choices are made that
usurp the life you knew.

but when the dust settles if you look
you will find your feet.

your trusty feet.
who have carried you
faithfully this far
and won’t abandon you yet.

even if you find yourself
standing someplace
you would 
have never imagined.

so just stand on them.
and wait.
the sun will come.
the world will turn.
and the moon with keep you

wherever you find yourself.
whether in Thailand
the North Shore
the office
or the living room.
here’s to standing.

– n.

can i show you: perfect?

On 16, Oct 2011 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

has perfection ever found you?
perfection in what…??
you may ask.

but i will ask again.
has perfection ever found you?
and perhaps you will answer “yes”.
and then i will know.
that you are a friend
of the


because not only does the 
rough and craggy 
of the ocean-like lake
speak of vastness
big skies,
and icy waters.

but also it speaks of 
the absolute
perfection of the small towns
scattered along the coast.

these towns will in fact
capture your heart and imagination.
like the bike store.

come rent a bike.

or the world’s best donut shop.
what a claim!
and who can live up to 
such a high claim?

this place.
it can.
and does.

but what about the famous
even the fashionable insides
of this town staple
know how to attract the old timers,
the townies, the hunters,
and of course the hipsters…
just put a bird on it.


and then there are cafes.
that sell ice cream cones as big
as your face.

you know what is else is perfect?
the perfect cabins.

not all people have been to
the perfect cabin.

and so…
let’s go together because will take you.
will you join?

when you come in,
perhaps you’ll need somewhere
to hang your 
oversized blue sweater.
don’t worry!
there is a spot for that.
right here.

then there is the kitchen.
where all things lovely must
be cooked.

and now?
you need a nap you say?
let me show you your
perfect napping locations.

what will you choose?

or the one cushion couch?

the owl will keep you company
while you snooze.

if you are like me.
{which you may or may not be}.
you will want a place
to sit and rest.
and read a whole book.
in one sitting.
this might be a good spot.
to turn the pages one by one.

and if you notice a little dust
or dirt.
you won’t fret 
because you will just vrrrroom
it up
with this beauty.

looks fun right?
do you have vacuum envy?
i should think so!

and then you might look out
this window
and discover the smallest
bit of red
beckoning you outside.

but first.
the blue door. 
if you are not careful
it will slap close upon your exit.
so be gentle.

and then you see them.
the berries.
that surround and 
brighten the outsides.

and look.
we are almost finished.
because now there is
nothing else to do.
except sit down.
and enjoy the view.

and now you know.
and now you’ve seen.

i hope {it} finds you.

here i am.

On 14, Oct 2011 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

there are few things

that make me feel more alive
and amused
than a coffee cafe in the morning hours.

the people.
oh they are just so priceless.

hearing some rousing
political discussion about
how those “rich people” just don’t
want to do their part.

and a concerned exchange
how just
how likely it is that zombies
will take over the world
in the coming years.
and when {not if} they do,
what is it they are wanting?

the leaves are falling purposefully.
the wind defies traffic
sweeping the trees’ gifts 
the wrong way down the
one way.

with coffee in hand.
the fingers flying across the keys.
the 1960s grooving
the air.

there is no where else for me
to be
except right here.

so i take my shoes off.
i think i’ll stay awhile.
here i am.

where do you find yourself today?
the happiest of fridays to you dear people.

apples on the ground.

On 28, Sep 2011 | One Comment | In Uncategorized | By Natalie

i went picking for some apples.
tis the season.


so convinced a friend
to join me
and we headed off
on one delightfully autumnal

after all
this is why
fall is so dearly loved.

because it produces
these sorts of days…
some might call them

this particular apple orchard:
truly did have it all.

hay mountains.
corn mazes.
open grills.
friendly animals.
kind staff members.

i was mostly interested
in the apples.
and picking my own.
and my friend?
she was interested in
a hay ride.

lucky us. 
we could head in the
same direction.

upon paying for our
plastic bag
that allowed us to
begin our search for
peck of apples,
we were one of the many
roaming the rows.

it was late in the day.
and the rows had thoroughly
 been picked over.
and we quickly noticed
the apple trees
no longer held any
apple in their branches.

i spotted a rosy apple
under a tree.
i picked it up.
inspected it.
thought about it.
then i bit.

and do you know?
it was perfect.

a little boy accompanied
by his parents
mimicked my action.

“honey! no! that’s icky!
we don’t eat things on the ground.”
said his mom.

she took his hand and
the small boy and i
exchanged confused looks
as he passed by.

many of the 
apple-pickers flew by
with frustrated remarks about,
“how there are no apples left!”
“don’t they know there are no
apples here!”
and before we knew
we were quite alone
amongst the bare trees.

and we began to notice.
that some someones
were dearly loving the
apples absence from
the trees.

and so this is how
our apple-picking trip
turned into an 
apple-seeking trip.

because instead of looking up
for apples.
we roamed and dug around
with the bees
to see what we could find.

and we found some beauties.
some might even have 
called these apples…


you do you know?
we filled our whole peck.

and i had such a nice time.
i think i’ll go back
next year.

perhaps next time
i will actually have the 
opportunity to
the apple from the tree.

but perhaps not.
and either way.
i’ll still eat it.

because yes.

i do.
and i will.
 eat food on the ground.

until next 
autumnal activity…